Messiah’s Kiss weren’t taking the piss when they christened their last album ‘Metal’. On its follow-up, ‘Dragonheart’, there’s an equally strict adherence to trad metal protocol right down to the front cover which depicts a butt-naked nubile seemingly arriving at the gates of Hades. Well, you know what they say – nowt makes an album cover quite like a girl’s bare arse.
‘Dragonheart’ is a vulgar display of power metal; the roaring opening track, ‘The Ancient Cries’, a spirited opener. Drums thunder along on like hardened stallions charging towards the battlefield, guitars the deadly sword that drives through the heart of false metal cowards and vocals sounding like the twisted howl of the tormentor that awaits their arrival.
Messiah’s Kiss have certainly learned from their boyhood heroes. The title track and ‘Steelrider’ have Judas Priest tattooed all over them, burning along at breakneck speed without brakes! I’m hard pressed to find a song on ‘Dragonheart’ that doesn’t apply generous amounts of double bass drum. Elsewhere, there are heavy echoes of Iron Maiden, Accept and Manowar, all of whom will no doubt be proud of their collective spawn.
Yet herein lies the niggling problem with the album. Messiah’s Kiss have studied their craft well, but they’re so in thrall to the masters that ‘Dragonheart’ is a bit ‘Stars In Their Eyes’. They’d be well advised to inject a little individuality into their next release but fair play to Messiah’s Kiss for keeping true metal pure. Not great, but a good effort.